Haldimand County

Haldimand County is a mostly rural municipality in Southwestern Ontario that’s blessed with over 80 km of Lake Erie shoreline, as well as the Grand River, which runs through it and empties into Lake Erie. Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville and Port Maitland are some of the key communities located along Haldimand County’s river banks. 

The Grand is one of the nation’s few designated Canadian Heritage Rivers, popular for paddling, nature viewing and fishing. Due to the abundance of catfish or ‘mudcats’ in this section of the Grand River, Dunnville’s mascot is a mudcat named ‘Muddy’. 

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Haldimand County, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website

Where is Haldimand County?

Located on the Niagara Peninsula, Haldimand County is an easy drive from several urban areas including Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Falls.  

Highway 403 is a major thoroughfare just minutes north of Haldimand County that runs west towards Highway 401 and London.

The city of Hamilton is just a short drive north while the Niagara Region is just a short drive east, where there are three key border crossings: Buffalo/Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and Lewiston/Queenston. 

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

For the most up-to-date information on where and when it is safe to travel please visit: covid-19.ontario.ca

Things to Do in Haldimand County

Lake Erie and the Grand River are two defining natural features in Haldimand County that provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, but there are also several charming communities and cultural gems located in this area. It’s the perfect combination for a cycling, motorcycling or driving road trip. 

Explore the beautiful Grand River by kayak, canoe or raft and try your luck at catching the big one on Lake Erie. Portions of The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail system) wind through Haldimand County, offering scenic trails and pathways for a scenic stroll or for a more intense day hike. 

Rock Point Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Erie. It’s known for the exposed fossils of a coral reef embedded in a limestone shelf dating back to over 350 million years ago, and loved for the kilometre-long sandy beach, viewing platform above the sand dunes, its two kilometre hiking trail and the fall monarch butterfly migration. The park offers over 150 campsites with amenities such as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities. Selkirk, a smaller provincial park in Haldimand County, features the Wheeler’s Walk Trail, a boardwalk across marsh and wetland. 

A number of notable cultural sites and museums are worth a visit in Haldimand County. Ruthven Park National Historic Site in Cayuga, for example, is a well preserved mid-19th century Greek revival, villa-style country estate on 1,500 acres along the Grand River. Tour the mansion and its gardens to learn about the five generations of Thompson family that once lived there. Another architectural attraction is the Cottonwood Museum, an Italianate style red brick mansion built between 1865 and 1870. 

Trainspotters and railroad enthusiasts will want to check out the local railway artifacts, displays and operating model trains at the Caledonia Grand Trunk Station. If vintage aircraft pique your interest, No.6 RCAF Dunnville Museum tells the story of the NO.6 service flying training school built to train fighter pilots in WWII, through vintage aircraft and memorabilia on display. 

History buffs are invited to peruse the Haldimand County Museum & Archives overlooking the Grand River in Cayuga. The museum preserves Haldimand’s rich and diverse heritage with historical exhibits. 

Haldimand County Neighbourhoods & Districts

Haldimand County consists of several small towns and hamlets including:

Caledonia

Enjoy boutique shopping, cafes and restaurants and loads of Grand River views.

Dunnville

Located near the mouth of the Grand River and the historic Talbot Trail, Dunnville is the largest community in Haldimand County.

Cayuga

Home to Toronto Motorsport Park, an NHRA-rated drag strip and Jukasa Motor Speedway.

Hagersville

Just south of the Six Nations on Highway 6, Hagersville is one of the westernmost communities in Haldimand County.

Things to Know About Visiting Haldimand County

Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Haldimand County, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around the county.

Little-known fact

Hagersville was the birthplace of Neil Peart, drummer of the iconic Canadian rock band Rush, and Jay Silverheels who played Tonto in the 1950s TV series The Lone Ranger.

Where to snap a great Instagram pic

At the Port Maitland pier and lighthouse, where the Grand River meets Lake Erie.

Favourite chocolate shop

My Sweet Sweet World in Hagersville is a micro chocolate factory and shop with delectable artisan, handcrafted small batch chocolates.

Where to find great local art

Wildwood Art Gallery & Studio in Cayuga showcases local and emerging artists.

Where to go for a drink

Debb's Cuisine on Queen in Dunnville is famous for specialty Caesars that are a meal and a drink in one glass.

Favourite beer

The Air Raid Pale Ale from Concession Road Brewing is named after the historic pilot training school.

Where to enjoy a milkshake

Vintage ‘50s diner, Hewitt’s Dairy Bar serves up classic shakes.

Where to get a great cup of coffee

Flyers Bakery & Café is an aviation themed café in Dunnville.

Favourite Fish ‘n’ Chips spot

Sit at the water’s edge and enjoy some of the tastiest perch and chips around from Hippo’s Restaurant on Lake Erie.